Makkakkurr (Pelican)
Makkakkurr (Pelican)


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Joe has painted a makkakkurr (pelican) fishing in a billabong. In the dry season, especially around the Kunwinjku season of Kurrung (the hot dry months around August and September), many makkakurr fly into Gunbalanya from the ocean, following the country they know so well. They congregate around the billabong, standing around the sandy banks or diving down to catch fish in the water. They can be seen hunting as a team, encircling an area and driving the fish into the middle to be caught.
In 1916 Paddy Cahill (the founder of the Oenpelli cattle station) documented hundreds of pelicans “stealing” all the fish from the billabong during the dry season.

Swimming below the makkakkurr there are namarddakka (nailfish) and an ngalmangiyi (long-neck turtle). In the background there is a wak (crow) and ngarradj (white cockatoo). Joe paints in a unique and contemporary style, layering his rarrk thickly on the paper. This gives his work a textured appearance and makes his work immediately identifiable. 

<!– Previous story: The artist has painted a makkakkurr or pelican. These large birds are common to the artist’s community for 3-4 months of the year following kudjewk, the wet season. They come in great numbers to fish in the town’s billabong. Hundreds can been seen working as a ‘team’ to round up fish or circling high above the town on warm thermal winds.
1916 Patty Cahill (the ‘founder’ of Oenpelli) documented hundreds of pelicans “stealing” all the fish from the billabong during the yekke (dry season). –>

ARTIST  Joe Guymala


Size 41 x 61 cm
Medium Ochre on Arches Paper
Catalogue # 81409372

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